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Remembered Today:

Artillery Observation Limber Pole Ladder



I have spent many an hour observing artillery fire - on foot, lying in the open, in a concrete bunker, in a trench and in the air. I have never had to experience a precarious OP position such as the Artillery Observation Limber Pole Ladder. I suppose in the flat dessert of Mesopotamia with the absence of a good OP bring your own..... though being a sitting duck does have it's disadvantages. And how does one get a cup of tea sitting at the top of the pole ! The Imperial war Museum records " These light, portable ladders were of great use. At the top was a bullet proof shield and it was found that it could be put up frequently within 1000 yards of the Turkish trenches".


A fascinating account from IN THE CLOUDS ABOVE BAGDHAD John Edward Tennant


"A curious outstanding feature of fighting on the flats of Mesopotamia was the medley of artillery observation ladders which sprang up out of the desert whenever the guns went into action. Without them it was quite impossible for a battery commander to see anything at all. They were run up some distance from the batteries as far forward as possible, and invariably acted as a magnet to the enemy gun fire. The utmost gallantry was displayed by gunner officers, who remained perched behind a bullet proof shield on the top of one of these swaying poles directing fire, until the smoke and dust around them became too thick to see through, or they were blown off the platform by an accurately placed crump"


It looks like it was not only the British that adopted this method...… Limber Pole Ladder.





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